Shooting is a dynamic skill that requires a lot of practice to develop. The right combination of strength, speed, and skill all play a part in shooting with high velocity.
In combination with daily practice, shot speed can be improved through multiple variables – all of which can be developed in the weight room as part of a direct strength and conditioning plan.
Here are three simple steps you can take to make your shot stronger and better.
1.) Increase Your Squat Strength
Every shot starts by imparting force into the ground, and that force is transferred upward through the hips and across your body. Increasing your ability to squat heavier weights will set a foundation of strength that will transfer into sprint speed, jumping ability, and, of course, shooting power.
Back squats and front squats also challenge your torso’s ability to remain stable while the lower body powers the entire movement.
Even if you don’t increase the overall strength of your squat, increasing your squat’s efficiency will have a beneficial carryover to using your lower body to power explosive movements on the field.
2.) Triple-Extension Power
Triple-extension is the industry term for forceful activation of knee, hip, and ankle extension. This movement pattern is critical for explosive recruitment of the lower body.
Developing the power, speed, and strength at which you can utilize triple-extension plays a huge role in how powerful an athlete you can be.
Movements like power cleans, explosive barbell high pulls, and weighted jumps all help develop the ability to impart explosive strength.
Movements like these can be very skill oriented and difficult to learn as a beginner, but by starting with the very basics, you can learn the foundational skills to help take your power development training to a whole new level.
3.) Rotational Med Ball Throws
Ballistic training with med balls allows you to train at more sport-specific velocities. Training rotational hip throws helps with the transferability of your strength training. Ballistic throwing movements with a med ball allow an athlete to focus on a quick transfer of force from the lower body through the hips and fast arm action.
Using lighter or heavier med balls allow you even further training variation to either focus on training pure hip and arm speed, or more direct power output. Increasing speed or power are somewhat dependent on the needs of the athlete, but both can play valuable parts in increasing your shooting velocity.
Shooting is a skill that requires countless hours of practice. Getting stronger won’t make you a better shooter if there is no skill development in progress. that being said, getting stronger in the weight room adds power to the skills you develop on the field.
Make sure that your time in the weight room is well spent by doing quality movements that have a transfer to your ability to perform in the game.